Get The Most Out of Your Ad Spend by Understanding the Learning Phase

When it comes to social media ad campaigns, specifically on Facebook, you have likely heard of a frequently used term called the “learning phase.” You’ve probably heard your account manager or product specialist mention it, or have come across it in the depths of Ads Manager yourself. But, what is the Facebook ads learning phase exactly? Essentially, when a new campaign is launched or significant edits are made to an existing campaign, ads will immediately enter a period of time when the delivery set is learning about the new ad set. This is the learning phase. During this time, ad performance can be hindered, however, not to worry — this is completely normal and actually beneficial for your overall goal. Let’s breakdown the Facebook ads learning phase further to understand what it means for your campaign and how to expedite the process.

The Facebook Ads Learning Phase Effects on Your Campaigns:

During the learning phase, the delivery system is exploring the best way to deliver your ads.Therefore, performance is less stable and cost-per-action (CPA) is usually higher than normal. As mentioned, the learning phase occurs when you create a new ad or ad set or make a significant edit to an existing one. Significant edits can include any change to targeting, creative, optimization event, or bid strategy. Small daily budget adjustments or changing the bid cap typically won’t be a significant enough edit to put ads into the learning phase.
How Long Is The Facebook Ad Learning Phase?
Once in progress the learning phase will continue to run until your ad gets approximately 50 optimization events. So, for example, if the campaign’s objective is website traffic, then the learning phase will continue until it’s received approximately 50 link clicks/landing page views.

Expedite the Learning Phase:

If an ad set or ad has been in the learning phase for a long period of time, and the campaigns are having a difficult time completing the phase, try expanding your audience or increasing the campaign budget to help speed up the process. Another way to help your campaigns exit the learning phase faster is to decrease the number of ad sets. When too many ad sets are run at once, each set delivers less often. This means that fewer ad sets exit the learning phase and more budget is spent before the delivery system has fully optimized performance.

Let Facebook Learn!

Overall, we want our ads to complete their learning phase with as little interruption as possible so they are delivered to our target audience efficiently. Each time an ad is shown, the delivery system learns more about the best people to target, times of day to show the ad, and placements and creatives to use. The more an ad is shown, the better the delivery system becomes at optimizing the ad’s performance. Although tedious, the learning phase ultimately helps you reach the best audience and get the most results.